Lake Biwa, the Ibuki and Hira mountains, and the fertile farmland in between make Shiga Prefecture's landscape a feast for the eyes. It offers a feast for the dining table as well with Ohmi rice, Ohmi beef, ayu, beans, vegetables, green tea, and more. Funa-sushi and ebi-mame are just a couple of examples of the fantastic local dishes born from this amazing environment.
Situated at the intersection of three key Edo period routes, the Tokaido, Nakasendo, and Hokkoku Kaido, Shiga Prefecture became a cultural crossroads between eastern and western Japan. Shiga is home to the imperial residence of Emperor Tenji, Ohtsu No Miya, as well as a number of major Buddhist temples including Ishiyama-dera (likely the inspiration behind Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji), Enryakuji (the Tendai sect headquarters), and Eigenji (the head temple of the Rinzai sect). Other famous Shiga landmarks include the ruins of Azuchi Castle, built by Oda Nobunaga, and Nagahama Castle, built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.